Purpose of review Despite the increased knowledge of osteocyte biology, the contribution of this most abundant bone cell to the development and progression of multiple myeloma in bone is practically unexplored. Recent findings Multiple myeloma bone disease is characterized by exacerbated bone resorption and the presence of osteolytic lesions that do not heal because of a concomitant reduction in bone formation. Osteocytes produce molecules that regulate both bone formation and resorption. Recent findings suggest that the life span of osteocytes is compromised in multiple myeloma patients with bone lesions. In addition, multiple myeloma cells affect the transcriptional profile of osteocytes by upregulating the production of proosteoclastogenic cytokines, stimulating osteoclast formation and activity. Further, patients with active multiple myeloma have elevated circulating levels of sclerostin, a potent inhibitor of bone formation which is specifically expressed by osteocytes in bone. Summary Understanding the contribution of osteocytes to the mechanisms underlying the skeletal consequences of multiple myeloma bone disease has the potential to provide important new therapeutic strategies that specifically target multiple myeloma-osteocyte interactions.
- Receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa b ligand
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine